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GOP presses for vote on PPP legislation

GOP presses for vote on PPP legislation
© Greg Nash

Thirty-five House Republicans on Thursday called for Democratic leaders to bring up a bill to free up funding and extend the Paycheck Protection Program through the end of the year. 

The request comes as Democrats negotiate over a larger COVID-19 relief bill with the White House that includes funding for the program, which is intended to help small businesses retain workers and survive the pandemic.

Top Republicans have repeatedly argued that they should authorize the relief to prevent further job loss and to help businesses stay afloat while a larger measure is being negotiated. Democratic leadership has said they don’t believe passing funding for certain priorities piecemeal is the right approach, arguing the gravity of the pandemic calls for ample funding in an array of areas to combat the fallout. 

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy urges networks not to call presidential race until 'every polling center has closed' House Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire MORE (R-Calif.) alleged the only reason negotiations began again was to prevent moderate Democrats from signing a GOP discharge petition. 

“The only reason why she [Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump should accept election results 'like a man' The spectre of pension failures haunts this election Microsoft: Iranian hacking group targeting attendees of major international security conferences MORE (D-Calif.)] has any movement is because Republicans put up a discharge petition," he said.

The House is now expected to vote on a $2.2 trillion relief bill that is not backed by the White House and Republicans.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMcConnell and Schumer's relationship shredded after court brawl On The Money: Trump says stimulus deal will happen after election | Holiday spending estimates lowest in four years | Domestic workers saw jobs, hours plummet due to COVID Trump says stimulus deal will happen after election MORE presented a $1.6 trillion counteroffer to Pelosi on Wednesday, but a divide remains between parties on a number of key issues. 

The Democrat-led bill is not expected to see movement in the upper chamber.